“Life is not long, and too much of it should not be spent in idle deliberation how it shall be spent,” said Samuel Johnson. But he didn’t have to navigate the planning minefield which is Reading And Leeds 2014, in which you, dear punters, will be forced to choose between your favourite bands when they inevitably, heartbreakingly clash on the line-up. The Great Fire Of London? A cakewalk, for sure, in comparison to the task of trudging around a muddy field with a cider in one hand, a festival programme in the other and trying to decide whether Eagulls or Fat White Family are more deserving of your time.
But fear no more! For below, we have our Reading And Leeds clashfinder: a short guide to help you decide who you want to see when push comes to shove. Happy planning!
Klaxons v The Horrors – Friday, Leeds
‘Easy!’ I hear you cry. ‘I surely must see The Horrors, for they know their way around a set of sky-kissing, stadium-ready synth’n’space rock like nobody’s business!” And you’d be right - the choices cuts from ‘Primary Colours’, ‘Skying’ and ‘Luminous’ were built for occasions such as these – but what of Klaxons? The nu-rave trio are back with new album ‘Love Frequency’ and will be eager to prove they’re still the go-to band for euphoric decadence and lost weekends. Not as simple as you first thought, eh?
Vampire Weekend v Warpaint v Brody Dalle – Saturday, Leeds
This, surely, will be the last hurrah for Vampire Weekend’s ‘Modern Vampires Of The City’ LP: it was released last year, so the smart money’s on them giving it a big send-off over on the Main Stage before they start planning their next step. On the NME/Radio 1 stage, meanwhile, there’s Warpaint - still brilliant, still brooding, still dangerously hypnotic live - also vying for your attention. And then at the Lock Up the mesmerising, menacing Brody Dalle will be making mincemeat of all and sundry as she rips through solo debut ‘Diploid Love’.
Temples v AlunaGeorge v Enter Shikari – Saturday, Leeds
Mind-bending psychedelia delivered by impeccably dressed young space and time warriors courtesy of Temples? Sassy, snappy and cool-as-fuck electropop with AlunaGeorge? Or spit, fury and moshpits a-plenty with Enter Shikari? Sadly, you can't see them all – this one may come down to how delicate your state of mind is at this point.
Eagulls v Fat White Family v Kate Tempest – Saturday, Leeds
Probably the most infuriating line-up clash of the whole weekend, given that it involves three of the year’s most vital, vocal and exciting new acts. But let’s look on the bright side instead: whichever choice you make, whether its Eagulls’ itchy, fidgety and bratty post-punk, Fat White Family’s feral sleaze-rock or Kate Tempest’s smart-as-you-like street-poetry, you’ll be witnessing something special.
Bombay Bicycle Club v Jake Bugg – Sunday, Leeds.
A stand-off between two very different schools, here: the gentle, heartfelt lulls of Bombay Bicycle Club will be holding sway over at the NME/Radio 1 Stage, perfect for a sentimental Sunday evening if you're at Leeds. But over at the Main Stage, Jake Bugg will be warming up for Arctic Monkeys and bringing his rootsy, razor-sharp lyrical observations to life after his triumph at Glastonbury earlier this year. You'll have to just toss a coin.